Groundhog Day, the Broadway musical based on the stellar 1993 romantic comedy starring Bill Murray, is ending its Broadway run on Sunday, September 17, producers said today. It will have played 176 performances and 32 previews. An 18-month national tour is in the works for next year, and a London production is also in the offing.
The musical — book by Danny Rubin, music and lyrcis by Tim Minchin — opened at the August Wilson Theatre on April 17 this year. It landed seven Tony noms including Best Musical, Best Leading Actor in a musical for Andy Karl’s Phil Connors and Matthew Warchus for Best Director of a Musical (Dear Evan Hansen scored six Tony wins in the musical categories). Groundhog Day did win the Olivier Award for Best Musical this year.
Producers of the Broadway transfer include Whistle Pig, Columbia Live Stage, and The Dodgers, with Michael Watt.
“It has been a joy to share Groundhog Day over and over again with Broadway audiences,” the producers said in making the announcement. “We could not have asked for a more magnificent, devoted company to bring Danny Rubin’s heartfelt words, Tim Minchin’s dynamic score, and Matthew Warchus’ ingenious direction to the August Wilson Theatre stage every night. This Punxsutawney family has been through a lot together and as Groundhog Day heads into its final month of performances in New York, we are so proud to be part of a Golden Age of musicals on Broadway.”
It has been a wild ride for the production, after Karl, who won an Olivier for originating the role at London’s Old Vic, tore the ACL in his knee near the end of a critics’ preview just days before the Broadway open. After one performance using his understudy, Karl dramatically rose to the occasion on opening night, performing with a knee brace visible and securing his Tony eligibility (award rules state that to be eligible for a nomination, cast members must appear on opening night). He didn’t miss a show after that, and has since signed with ICM Partners for representation.
Barrett Doss co-starred as Rita Hanson, leading an ensemble cast that features Rebecca Faulkenberry, John Sanders, Andrew Call, Raymond J. Lee, Heather Ayers, Kevin Bernard, Gerard Canonico, Rheaume Crenshaw, Michael Fatica, Katy Geraghty, Camden Gonzales, Jordan Grubb, Taylor Iman Jones, Tari Kelly, Josh Lamon, Joseph Medeiros, Sean Montgomery, William Parry, Jenna Rubaii, Vishal Vaidya, Travis Waldschmidt and Natalie Wisdom.
The creative team includes Peter Darling (choreographer), Ellen Kane (co-choreographer), Rob Howell (set and costume designer), Christopher Nightingale (orchestrator and musical supervisor), Hugh Vanstone (lighting designer), Simon Baker (sound designer), Paul Kieve (illusions), Finn Caldwell (additional movement), Andrzej Goulding (video designer), Campbell Young Associates (hair and wig design) and Jim Carnahan (casting). David Holcenberg is the music director.